The below stories are presented as hypothetical examples. Individuals should seek advice on what would suit their personal financial situation.

Michael, 65.

After a long career as a builder and project manager, Michael decided to retire as soon as he turned 65, which was about six months ago. So far, he’s really enjoying retirement and says it feels great to have more freedom. Michael does still like to keep busy, though: “I’ve been building model aircraft and flying them, and I’ve met a lot of new friends who share my hobby, which has been brilliant.”

Marina, 70.

A keen knitter and follower of politics, until recently Marina lived on her own in the semi-rural family house where she raised her four children. She made the decision to sell her four-bedroom home and move in with one of her sons and his family.

“I know it wouldn’t work for everyone, but it works well for me. I’m able to spend plenty of time with my grandchildren, and because I drive them around and cook for them, my son and daughter-in-law really appreciate the help. Selling the house did make me sad. But I enjoy having the family around me and being a really valuable part of everything that’s going on.”

Linda, 61 and Kevin, 68.

Linda and Kevin have been married for 35 years and have two children. Linda has worked as an ECE teacher in recent years, while Kevin had a long career as a pharmacist – both have now been retired for just over two years. Kevin has joined an ocean swimming group and Linda has been pursuing her hobby of genealogy, researching their family trees and compiling information for the next generation.

In the lead-up to their retirement, the couple had a lot of their savings in term deposits and spoke to a Westpac Financial Adviser to try and understand what options were available to them. They wanted $1,000 a month to supplement Kevin’s New Zealand Super income. With $250,000 between them from their Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme accounts to invest, they worked with their Westpac Financial Adviser and decided on a moderate risk Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme fund. They’ll review it again once Linda starts receiving New Zealand Super, they also have $10,000 in emergency funds. Their Westpac Financial Adviser also reminded Linda and Kevin to update their wills and Power of Attorney.

Sarina, 65.

Just a few months before turning 65, Sarina separated from her husband. It was a stressful process and disentangling the couple’s tightly intertwined assets was complex and time-consuming. Now, though, Sarina is stepping into retirement on her own and really enjoying her independence.  

"I love doing whatever I like without worrying about anybody else! I’ve been able to step up my time volunteering with Riding for the Disabled, and I’ve done a heap of work on my garden," she says. "I'm running a book club with my friends, and I’ve signed up for an online photography course."

Patrice, 74.

Retired for nearly 10 years and now single, Patrice downsized from a four-bedroom home in suburban Auckland to a newer two-bedroom house in Papamoa. That left him with around $800,000 in cash – but Patrice is a naturally frugal character.

“I never had much money growing up, and I never earned heaps of money either,” says the former landscaper. “I don’t see any reason to start wasting money now. The habits of a lifetime are ingrained in me.”

Alan, 67.

Alan is semi-retired, continuing to work part-time as an architectural draftsman for his previous employer. He’s enjoying the work and plans to keep going for another five years or so. In his spare time, he’s joined a local men’s shed and says it’s been enormously beneficial to his mental health.

“The last few years I’ve found my anxiety levels rising, and the men’s shed has given me more purpose in life, along with my work,” says Alan. “What’s been nice is the support I’ve had from both the sheddie guys and my boss. It makes me feel appreciated and valued, which helps me get through the tough patches.”

Raelene, 67.

Although she’s over 65, Raelene is still working as an administrator at a medical centre. She works an eight-hour day, four days a week. “Right now, I like working,” says Raelene. “We have a great team at the office, and I like chatting to them and to the patients. I’m a talker! I’d miss being at the office if I retired completely.”

As well as the chance to chat, Raelene appreciates the income. By extending her working years, she’s able to save more for her future retirement and start spending her money later. When she turned 65, Raelene had a lump sum of just over $50,000 in Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme account, and her employer contributions stopped. She called Westpac because she wanted to know the best way to make her money last.

Get in touch with a Westpac Financial Adviser.

Whether you plan to rely on NZ Super alone or you have significant assets to draw on, we’re here to help. We can also review your existing spending so you can make tweaks or reevaluate entirely if your circumstances change.

This service is free to all Westpac customers, and we would love to hear from you.

Things you should know.

The case studies above are hypothetical examples presented for illustrative purposes only. The case studies are unique and do not take into account your specific situation or goals. We recommend you consult a Westpac Financial Adviser or other financial advice provider, for financial advice that takes into account your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances.

BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited is the scheme provider and Westpac New Zealand Limited is the distributor, of the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme (Scheme).

The information above is subject to changes to government policy and law, and changes to the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme from time to time.

Investments made in the Scheme do not represent bank deposits or other liabilities of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, Westpac New Zealand Limited or other members of the Westpac Group of companies. They are subject to investment and other risks, including possible delays in payment of withdrawal amounts in some circumstances, and loss of investment value, including principal invested. None of BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited (as manager), any member of the Westpac Group of companies, The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited (as supervisor), or any director or nominee of any of those entities, or any other person guarantees the Scheme's performance, returns or repayment of capital.

For a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement or more information about the Scheme, contact any Westpac branch or call 0508 972 254 or from overseas +64 9 375 9978 (international toll charges apply). You can also download the Product Disclosure Statement.